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Red Rabbit

(Jack Ryan #2)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  24,634 ratings  ·  631 reviews
Long before he was President or head of the CIA, before he fought terrorist attacks on the Super Bowl or the White House, even before a submarine named Red October made its perilous way across the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was an historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England while researching a book. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter gro ...more
Hardcover, 640 pages
Published August 26th 2002 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Steve Visel I think he did write it, for the reasons you cite. He is (was) a serial over-writer. I threw Executive Orders across the room because [spoiler]…moreI think he did write it, for the reasons you cite. He is (was) a serial over-writer. I threw Executive Orders across the room because [spoiler] President Jack Ryan agonized for 8 pages before his first press conference. Get to the story! How long does a character need to ruminate before taking action? All of Clancy's books could have been written in 1/3 fewer pages. All that said, I know an author who ghosted one or more of the Jack Ryan, Jr. series under Clancy's name. I think all the Jack Ryan, Sr. series was written by Clancy. Red Rabbit is unique in that it's the only book in the series to use actual historical figures (Yuri Andropov) as primary characters.(less)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Best Spy Novels
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The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,634 ratings  ·  631 reviews

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May 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: my worst enemies
More Dead than Red. It's as if Tom was on sedatives while writing the book. It's hard to exagerate just how dull and repetitive this work really is, but it's a bit like the being hit in the head over and over with a small wooden shovel. It leaves a dull impression on your mind.
Tyler Montague
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
In college, Clancy lowered my GPA by almost a full point one year. It was the mid-90's, and I started reading him and got so addicted I would skip class, call out sick from work, order pizza, and read all day. I immediately snapped up new releases, like Debt of Honor and Rainbow Six and loved them. I even trudged through some of his non-fiction stuff. I read Red Storm Rising and Without Remorse twice.

But somewhere around Bear and Dragon, Clancy turned blah. Red Rabbit is just lame. I literally t
Feb 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trump voters
Have you run out of Bill O'Reilly books to read? Are you nostalgic for the Cold War? Well then, we here at Drunk Uncle Publishing have got just the book for you!

We understand that today's world is complex, and frightening. Sometimes you pine for the simple comfort of having a single, monolithic enemy like the Soviet Union. When it comes to the books you read, you'd prefer not to have your world-view challenged in any way. We get it! Nothing ruins the reading experience like having to think.

Do yo
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dedicated action/adventure junkies

I was a bit surprised to see the average Goodreads rating at four stars for this magnificent novel. Perhaps it was a bit weighty for some, and at 340,000 words is even epic by my own long-winded standards as an author. But if you commit to Clancy, you gotta stick with him all the way. And let me tell ya, he don't let you down with Red Rabbit. Tying this novel into the actual assassination attempt on Pope Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II, was such an excellent insertio
Sep 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
Not really a mystery and definitely not an action-packed thriller. Around the end of 400 pages a few things finally begin to happen. There is no real ACTION until 518. Lots of things are repeated 3 and 4 times. Jack Ryan has been involved in previous adventures. One of those adventures involved a helicopter. He does not like flying. Eye surgery, which his wife does, turns his stomach. His wife is a better judge of character and unspoken meaning. Jack thinks his father-in-law is a greedy, soulles ...more
Samyuktha jayaprakash
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent procedural novel on espionage. It is so believably written!
Characters and their lives fleshed out well. No over the top gimmicks here. Simple stunt is complex enough.
It is not your fast food kind of book more like a barbeque on slow grill.
Very delicious. Nice way to start the year with the bunny zaichik

p.s - a bit too much hatred towards the soviet union maybe?
Barnabas Piper
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
The slowest, most politically droning Clancy book I’ve read. He manages to make Jack Ryan Boring in this one. A disappointment.
Mar 11, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Finally finished.
It took me so long to get through this book. Partly because I just didn't want to go on. The story was lame, really, the ending or lets call it show down then was so fast over and so unspectacular that it's not even worth mentioning, the characters brought up no suprise - just chliches.

Jack Ryan is already know throught the books before and I started disliking the way Tom Clancy stereotyped his characters already in the other books, but here it really annoyed me. The way it is
Sep 12, 2018 rated it liked it
There are a lot of reviewers who don't think Tom Clancy wrote this book. I don't know if that's true, I don't think it is. But, one thing I do know is that this book is in no way as good as the books he did write. Maybe Clancy wrote it, knew it was crap, and set it aside, after all it wasn't published until 2002, years after its' place in the series. The plot of Ryan as a CIA analyst in London helping shepherd out a high value Russian defector fits nicely in the series, but there just isn't enou ...more
Apr 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This book is based on the true experiences of a CIA agent named James Olson who was teaching in the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University in 2004. I heard him speak at a State of the State conference here in Austin. Nobody in the CIA seemed to know where Tom Clancy was getting this information and he (Clancy) refused to divulge anything to the CIA. Per Mr. Olson, Clancy is, indeed, an asshole.

Mr. Olson had plans to publish his memoirs but I have yet to see them listed anywhere.
May 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
It must be hard being Tom Clancy. Think about it, your best character, Jack Ryan is already a President at the peak of his power sitting on a country at the peak of its power. He got there over a series of books so thrilling that your audience has huge expectations for every work you pump out, and your name has become a franchise. So where do you go from here?

We could read about Ryan's next American triumph, like we did in the cartoon-like Bear and Dragon. The trouble is that Ryan is such a wel
Dec 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
I had decided not to read any more of the Jack Ryan saga after Executive Orders. From the high standard that was set in The Hunt for Red October, a thoroughly researched and well-constructed thriller, the series degenerated into a predictable and long drawn out right wing rant. Oh well, there is a market for that sort of thing and Mr Clancy no doubt grew very rich on it.
However, finding myself facing a ten hour flight and a paucity of choice in the airport book stand I decided to give this one a
Steve Haywood
Jack Ryan is a new analyst working for the CIA, and has been sent over to Britain to work with the SIS for a time. Ed and Mary Pat Foley have just taken up their new posting in Moscow as the CIA s Chief of Station in the Soviet Capital. Meanwhile the chairman of the KGB wants to kill the pope. Oleg Zaitsev, an officer in the KGB s central communications department isn t happy about this, and wants to defect to America as an act of conscience.[return][return]This book is Tom Clancy s latest novel ...more
Jack Webb
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Run, Rabbit, run

Pretty good early Ryan yarn where he gets stationed in London to further his CIA education. Along the way, he gets involved with a Russian defector (the rabbit), Russian cold war ideology, and even the pope.
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
I am exceedingly glad I only paid $1 for this book at a library book sale. It may be worth that much, but no more. Red Rabbit reads as though Tom Clancy needed to write 618 pages in a hurry because he needed the money. It's full of cliches and boringly repetitious with the characters' introspection. Clancy tells us many times how the food is different in England than it is in America, how it's different in Italy than in America, how it's different in Bulgaria than in America...boring after a whi ...more
Chad Sayban
Red Rabbit was by far the weakest of all of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books. Part of it was that even though it was a prequel, it really didn’t sound like Jack Ryan at all. Mostly it was the plot. Clancy thrillers always have a certain over-the-top quality to them. That’s what makes them fun. But they are always grounded in a certain level of realism. Unfortunately, Red Rabbit’s plot felt so contrived and disjointed that I had a difficult time believe that Clancy actually wrote it. Maybe it was an ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If your looking for action look elsewhere
If your looking for a bit of history as to espionage involving Soviet Union vs UK vs USA, there is a lot here. Clancy discusses many cultural differences and political ideology.
one negative: he keeps talking about Ryan's great training and experience with his less than a year as US Marine 2LT. 1- he only had ROTC 2-2nd LT's are at the bottom of the food chain. Not in heierarchy, but not knowing anything about being a leader in their job. I was statio
Michael Atkinson
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well, it wasn't quite as much fun as Patriot Games, or The Hunt for Red October. The story involves a KGB communications officer escaping out of the Soviet Union, and the escape itself (view spoiler). There's also a 1980s plot with the Pope and Solidarity in Poland and so forth that I'm not sure integrates as well with the rest of the Ryanverse. At any rate, it's still an interesting read. Next up in my chronol ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
I kept waiting for some action to kick-in but, after about 350 pages, I surrender.

I would say "move along people, nothing to see here!"
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great book. I finally realized, after reading 400 pages, that I've already read it! If you're a Tom Clancy fan I highly recommend this one.
Stuart Wilson
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I enjoyed this. It has an almost fetishistic amount of details on pre-digital communications in the intelligence world. His female characters are mostly poorly written, and every couple chapters it kinda jumps off the page.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boring, suspense
What a disappointment! Tom Clancy's books used to be real nail biters, but this one is just a sleeping pill. This has all of his worst writing habits amplified and without a decent plot to ameliorate the tedium. I don't think he's actually writing anymore. I think he just came up with a two-paragraph synopsis and fed it into a "ClancyBot" computer in his basement, then took the 600 pages it spit out straight to the publisher-- who apparently is afraid to offend its cash cow by actually editing h ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was the first Tom Clancy book I read cover-to-cover and I almost didn't finish. It was a complicated yet bland plot: A Soviet wants to defect? Where else have we seen that before? *cough* Red October *cough* Cardinal of the Kremlin *cough*.

I don't mind books where the US is good and the USSR is bad, but listening to Jack Ryan wax poetic about everything great with the US and bad with the USSR is dull. It's even more obnoxious when you factor that the book was written in 2002. It's kicking a
David Doyle
Nov 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
In the past I've read several of the other Jack Ryan books--Patriot Games, Hunt for Red October, Cardinal in the Kremlin, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears. Came across this and thought it'd be fun to revisit good ol' Jack...I was wrong. This book lacked the tension and action of the previous books, even though it had what could be a blockbuster concept--the Soviets want to assassinate the Polish Pope to prevent him from causing the Polish people from being inspired to throw off ...more
Brian Eshleman
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Many panned this book, but I really enjoyed it – almost as much as Patriot Games. Due to his background in the military, finance, academia and espionage, Jack Ryan's perspective is always interesting. Actually, the author could remind us of these various parts of his main character a little less, and his CONSTANT mentions of Ryan's promise gets somewhat repetitive. Also repetitive is his overuse of dramatic irony. The story is set in Cal Ripken's rookie year, and he must mention at least five ti ...more
Kimia Wood
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
A Soviet plot to assassinate the pope. A KGB communications officer trying to defect to the West. And star CIA analyst Jack Ryan, who…is there.

Tom Clancy builds his Cold War-era spy adventure slowly and deliberately…with detailed settings, in-depth character philosophizing, and realistic portraits of the mind-sets and world-views that create the situation.


Clancy’s recurring star, Jack Ryan, is a CIA analyst and teacher’s pet (and possibly the weakest character here). In fact, he does v
Red Rabbit takes us back to the younger days of CIA analyst Jack Ryan, in this book he is out of America with his family, and he is working for the British SIS. In Moscow the director of the KGB, Yuriy Andropov intends to kill the pope. Major Zaitzev of the KGB wants to defect to the US when he overhears about the plot. It was an okay read, it wasn't one of Clancy's best in my opinion, it didn't seem to be as exciting and suspenseful as his other works either, but it does have a good storyline.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: general-fiction
All in all, I think if you had an honest editor who would trim this thing down from 640 pages to about 100, you'd have a fairly decent spy novella. Assuming that the editor was also staging an intervention for Clancy's casual racism, sexism, and crippling Reaganophilia. As it stands, the title should probably be "Young Jack Ryan Very Slowly Fails to Stop the Pope Getting Shot in the Gizzard: Ladies Be Shopping."
Mike Smith
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was another entertaining story from Tom Clancy. He's still a little repetitive with his side comments, but nothing felt too grating. The relationship between Jack and Cathy is described nicely though by no means in depth. It was a little weird to read a story centered around an attack on the pope at the same time as all the attention focused on the vatican for the voting of a new pope.
Greg Chesser
The KGB is plotting to assassinate the Pope. CIA analyst Jack Ryan is in England trying to put a stop to it. A good espionage thriller, but Clancy can be redundant at times - making the book a lot longer than it should have been.
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Tom Clancy was an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College. As a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history, his dream of writing a novel came true with his first effort, The Hunt for Red October (1984).

He since wrote more than a dozen novels, which have a blend of realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. Ten of the novels, including The Teeth of

Other books in the series

Jack Ryan (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Patriot Games (Jack Ryan, #1)
  • The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3)
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (Jack Ryan, #4)
  • Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan, #5)
  • The Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan, #6)
  • Debt of Honor (Jack Ryan, #7)
  • Executive Orders (Jack Ryan, #8)
  • Command Authority (Jack Ryan, #9)
  • Full Force and Effect (Jack Ryan, #10)
  • Commander-in-Chief (Jack Ryan, #11)
“Courage is being the only only one who knows how terrified you are.” 64 likes
“(Stereotyping) is only for those without the imagination to see people as they are instead of being like someone else they understand.” 20 likes
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